Using Packaging to Communicate an Eco-Friendly Message

published on 30 September 2022

It is known that almost 50% of consumers feel that the way a product is packaged has a direct correlation with the item’s perceived value. Most modern consumers believe that when something is packaged with care and attention they are receiving something which is lovingly prepared just for them. This small aspect of customer psychology can be effectively leveraged so that you can drive the perceived value of your products and make more sales. 

Often, customers have a strong preference for packaging which is not only beautifully designed and eye catching, but is sustainable and easy to dispose of safely and in an ethical way. Customers have become a lot more picky in the last couple of decades, and especially in recent years, and it is harder than ever to convert site visitors and online shoppers into sales. If you are trying to engage with a consumer base which places a high importance on the sustainability of a brand then you will do well to ensure your packaging is ethical and sustainable. 

For retailers, this shift in public thinking when it comes to issues such as climate change and conservation has given rise to the need to look for new ways to package and ship their goods which aligns well with public perception. When you make use of eco-friendly packaging and shipping methods you can better engage with savvy consumers and can find huge potential for growth in the sector. 

When surveyed, nearly half of consumers reported that it makes it a lot harder for them to choose a product when the company (seller or manufacturer) does not explain their green credentials in a transparent way. Being an environmentally friendly brand is considered a strong USP that should be communicated effectively with your potential customers, and should be celebrated when it is achieved. 

The benefits of sustainable packaging

When choosing eco-friendly packaging and shipping methods you can very effectively reduce your overall shipping costs. One way to make your packaging environmentally sound is to reduce the overall volume of packaging that is used per item. This has the effect of making all your parcels much more lightweight and therefore cheaper to ship. The trend has long been to choose large shipping boxes and to fill them with additional packaging materials such as bubble wrap, packing tissue and packing peanuts. Instead of doing this, simply choose a box which fits the product more closely and will therefore be naturally protective without the extra expense of packing materials. 

Another way that choosing lightweight and sustainable packaging is that it takes up much less space when it is being stored. Commercial storage space is one of the biggest expenses that retailers must invest in, and by choosing more compact and lightweight customisable packaging and other packaging products, you will not need to dedicate as much of your precious storage space to storing packaging materials.

In surveys, almost everyone interviewed stated they would be willing to change their consumption habits if it meant that they can make their shopping more ethical and environmentally friendly and reduce their environmental impact. If you are willing and able to switch to more sustainable packaging options, you will be able to connect to a wider range of people who will find your eco credentials compelling, making them more likely to choose your products.

Many couriers operate fleets of electric vehicles these days which produce zero emissions on the road. If you can, consider making use of a courier which uses electric vehicles to transport and deliver your goods, and make sure your customers are aware of this extra level of effort you have taken. For overseas shipping, always use sea or rail freight where possible. These can provide slightly slower delivery times, but usually this is minimal, and most people are happy to wait an extra day for something they know is being shipped to them in an environmentally friendly way. 

Air freight is the least environmentally friendly way to send goods overseas, but for some products which are time critical it is the only choice. If your products are not shelf stable for long enough to ship by rail or sea then look at developing your products further to create new, stable formulas which can be shipping without the carbon emissions associated with air freight. 


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